A penguin chick with a bad case of splayed legs is back on happy feet again

Poorly penguin back on happy feet

A penguin chick with a bad case of splayed legs is back on happy feet again thanks to his own wardrobe of special designer trousers

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Troubled Families programme expanded

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles today announced details of an expansion to the Government's Troubled Families programme to help vulnerable younger children from struggling homes to get a better chance in life.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles
Communities Secretary and former Bradford Council leader Eric Pickles Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Work will begin this year in 51 of the best performing areas, ahead of a national five year programme from 2015 to help more troubled families who cost the taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds per year without intervention.

Recent research shows that troubled families that have been worked with so far have an average of nine serious problems such as truancy, crime, anti-social behaviour, worklessness and domestic violence.

As well as expanding from working with school-age children to those under five, the wider programme will also have a particular focus on improving poor health, which new data published today highlights is a particular problem in troubled families, with 71% having a physical health problem and 46% a mental health concern.

The scheme builds on the success of the current programme run by councils, which new figures show is now helping over 110,000 of the most troubled families in England.

Of these over 53,000 have had their lives turned around thanks to the intensive and practical approach, which works with the whole family on all of its problems.

While retaining its focus on reducing truancy, crime and anti-social behaviour, the expanded programme will apply this approach to a larger group of families with a wider set of problems including domestic violence, debt and children at risk of being taken into care.

And the programme will continue to prioritise getting adults into work, with the Department for Work and Pensions providing 300 specialist troubled families employment advisers who will also work with young people at risk of becoming unemployed.

The Troubled Families programme has been a brilliant partnership between the Government and councils, changing the way services are run, saving taxpayers money and turning around the lives of some of the hardest to help in the country, with kids back in school, youth crime and anti-social behaviour cut and adults better able to work.

" Building on this momentum, we are now able to help even more families and deal with even more problems and I am delighted that that work will now begin in the next few months."

– Eric Pickles, Communities Secretary

Families with an average of nine different serious problems need help that gets in through the front door of their home and to the heart of what is really going on in their lives.

"The Troubled Families programme has been able to do that by taking a 'tough love' approach and dealing with the whole family and all of its problems.

"This has been the start of a revolution in the way that we work with our most challenging families and which we need to accelerate in the years ahead."

– Louise Casey, Head of the Government's Troubles Families programme

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Rail travel 'out of the reach of ordinary people'

Rail travel is being pushed "out the reach of some ordinary people" by fare increases, the head of a public transport advocacy group said.

Stephen Joseph, executive director of the Campaign for Better Transport, told Good Morning Britain that Government-dictated ticket price hikes mean rail fares are rising four times faster than wages.

Commuters will find out how much rail fares are likely to rise by next year when the Retail Price Index (RPI) for last month is released today.

The annual increase is capped at July's RPI plus 1%, with an extra 2% added to some tickets.

Today's Sky Time-lapse

by JON MITCHELL

Here is the sky over our studio in Leeds today 18th August 2014.

Once again it's an unstable atmosphere with cumulus clouds readily developing. These gave widespread showers across the region today. JON MITCHELL

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Arctic Monkeys could 'get the bus' to Leeds Festival

Leeds Festival boss Melvin Benn has joked that headline band Arctic Monkeys could get the bus to the gig.

The Sheffield band are making their first appearance at the three-day event since 2009.

Speaking about how important it was to have local bands on the bill he told Calendar Alex Turner and co. could probably get the bus from South Yorkshire:

Doctor "petrified" at thought of fundraising feat

A fundraising doctor - who is herself terminally ill - says she is "petrified" at the prospect of her latest feat to raise money for fellow cancer patients.

Dr Kate Granger will jump out pf a plane in Bridlington this morning as part of her bid to raise £250,000 for the Yorkshire Cancer Centre.

On her Just Giving page, she writes:

"For my latest exploit...weather willing, I will be jumping out of a plane on a tandem skydive for the YCC.

"I am petrified of heights so this is a massive personal challenge for me, but one that I am hugely excited about.

"The skydive itself has been extremely kindly donated by Sara at GB Skydive in Bridlington so we can maximise the funds we raise for the YCC. Chris and my family will be cheering me on from the comfort of the ground."

– Dr Kate Granger

She has also received support from other companies, and online followers:

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And thank you very much to Dr Ralf Speth, @jaguar's CEO for being so kind to lend us his F-type for the weekend... http://t.co/CaIDUHUZmX

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Pls support @grangerkate for her forthcoming skydive. Kate is beyond inspirational. Always in my thoughts. http://t.co/M1j91lilRF

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My terminally ill beautiful wife doing charity skydive.. Help her raise £250k Pls RT @michelrouxjr @david_cameron http://t.co/BQ9n1kzoMy

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